Sunday, January 04, 2009

I've Got To Move This Out Of The Comments

Stella left an off-topic comment about homeless veterans in the post below. The discussion doesn't belong there, so I am moving it up here.

Stella said...
Maggie, off-topic. Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?
No veteran deserves this.
03 January, 2009 14:42

BostonMaggie said...
Your article exaggerates a sad and difficult problem.
The VA estimates the number at 154,000
By and large their situation has little to do with their veteran status. It has to do with the fact that most of the help for the homeless is aimed at women and children.
03 January, 2009 14:51

Stella said...
I have a real issue with veterans left in the streets with no shelter and food. Veterans' benefits were cut six years in a row; that's reprehensible. (Maggie's note - here's my problem. This statement is patently untrue.) OK, 200,000 is an exaggeration, but there's still 154,000 too many veterans living in sub-standard conditions.

This comment really got to me: Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war. That hit me in the gut. I had no idea.

Non-military private and public charities could help non-veterans, particularly women and children. The VA does have Homeless Veteran Program Coordinators, but what is their situation with the funding cuts? The VA should assume responsibility for aiding veterans.

A VA is in my area: yet, I frequently see homeless veterans. You're absolutely right: this is a sad, difficult situation that needs attention.

Pardon my rant, and thanks for the info, Maggie. That's an extremely informative site. Take care.
03 January, 2009 22:47
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Of course this is a discussion Stella and I have had before. You see Stella likes to say that Veteran's benefits have been cut under the Bush Administration and I, of course, say that's untrue.

Well I guess this will be the day I pull together the links to prove my point. After all, it's steroid day and I won't be that much use otherwise.

Although I might make a cake just to needle Jennifer. The other night we were sitting on her couch and I said I was in the mood for cake, she razzed me. The next day I worked and she had the day off. I sent her a text and asked of she were making me a cake, she asked if she had to. I said yes. It was a disaster. She didn't have the right ingredients and she had no cake pan and she was very unhappy with the result. Jen is an excellent cook and makes fabulous cookies......so I will have to make a cake just to give her a hard time. Actually the tremor might make for a better cake - better sifting of flour!

Anyway, back to the VA nonsense.

I'm going to poke around in the GPO and I am going to print what facts and figures I find. I won't be pretty because they are PDFs and I don't know how to cut or paste them. I will post them above this post.

But they will be facts and they will back up this statement from the GPO FY 09 budget;

Since 2001, the Department of Veteran's Affairs has:
Increased the resources available for veterans' medical care by 106%.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHY do you criticize the number of homeless veterans? Are you a veteran? Do you REALLY know what WE veterans deal with or how were are treated? Most of all, have you ever thought about the number of homeless FEMALE veterans who are sleeping tin the streets? It's bad enough that veterans are treated so poorly. But for you to criticize the numbers...that's just too much!!

BostonMaggie said...

I apologize that you are hurt by my remarks, but I think you have misread what I wrote.

No where do I criticize the number of homeless veterans. I correct the inaccuracy of the article. The author of the article (Aaron Glantz of New American Media) used a figure of 200,000 with no direct source cited.

I went to the VA's website and used their figure.

I do not see how correcting a falsehood about homeless veterans is somehow a criticism.

I am not a veteran.

My father, my first husband, every man I have ever had a serious adult relationship with have either been active duty or veterans. I also count many veterns among my friends.

Now my turn to question - What would my status vis-a-vis the military have to do with correcting inaccuracies in the media.

If this same author wrote that there were "X" number of Americans of Aisian ethnicity who were homeless and I knew that was incorrect.....would I be wrong to point out that inaccuracy because I am an American of Irish aqncestry?

I hope you will consider going back and rereading the post. I think you missed something.

Several things can be true at once and sometimes people like to make connections where there are none.

The problem of homelessness among veterans is sad and wrong and should be worked on to every extent that public and private persons and organizations are able.

It is not less tragic that there are 154,000 veterans counted among the homeless than 200,000. It is simply better and more accurate to use the correct figure.

After all, one is too many.

Subsunk said...

Maggie,

The vast majority of "homeless veterans" are either mentally unwell, or simply gaming some kind of VA system. It is not that homeless people have no skills. You can get a job without any kind of skills whatsoever, or teenagers would never find jobs. The fact is that most (and my own estimate is over 70%) of supposedly "homeless veterans" are actually homeless mental patients, addicted to alcohol or drugs, and either are not veterans, or were drummed out of service for the same reasons they cannot find a job... mental instability. And there are very, very few homeless women in this country.

My experience with "homeless veterans" is that the VA will not look deeply into a person's background to verify their service, and that many "homeless veterans" are not veterans at all, and many are simply too mentally ill to be able to coherently make their case one way or the other. So VA counselors accept anyone, including nonveterans who have been told by their buds on the street to claim that status for the free meals and drugs.

My experience stems from three years of helping the CT VA hospital in Hartford round up the "homeless vets" off their streets for an annual "standdown" and screening them for physical and mental health issues during this time. The bus drivers will take anyone off the streets who says they are a vet (and no one checks their bonafides.... duh, they live on the street. You think they have DD-214s and drivers licenses lying around?) and thus thousands of bums who are only alcoholic or drug addicted souls are now classified by the VA as "homeless veterans".

Why does the VA do this? So they can get more money for their homeless programs, of course. The fact that very few homeless people are vets merely means that there is NO (read ZERO) program available to care for them outside of a church (and Lord knows, Liberals wouldn't let a church take the credit for helping those poor souls) and the VA. And 154,000 homeless people in a country of 310 million is not a crisis by any stretch of the imagination.

If you wish to get a job in this country, you can find one. It requires perseverance and backbone. But to say no one will give you a job is to admit you are not looking. And that is the greater mental affliction in this country anyway. Too good to take a lousy job, and would rather claim aggrieved homeless status than work your way out of it.

Anonymouse is a liar, ill informed, or a poser. I stand by my opinions and the facts as I know them here.

Subsunk